Bankrate Settles a 2002 Lawsuit for $3MM

Bankrate has reached a settlement with American Interbanc over a lawsuit filed in 2002 wherein Bankrate will make a $3.0 million cash payment to American Interbanc and American Interbanc will dismiss the lawsuit. Additionally, American Interbanc and Bankrate have agreed to release each other from all claims arising out of or related to the lawsuit. Bankrate and American Interbanc have also agreed to certain terms and conditions that permit American Interbanc to advertise on Bankrate.com. Bankrate, Inc. (Nasdaq: RATE) owns and operates Bankrate.com, a leading Internet consumer banking marketplace.

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AirTran Adds Bill Me Later Payment Option

Another airline has jumped on the “Bill Me Later” bandwagon. MD-based I4 Commerce reports that AirTran Airways is now offering customers the ability to pay with “Bill Me Later.” The payment option offers consumers who purchase airline tickets no payments for 90 days. The “Bill Me Later” service is part of I4 Commerce’s “PayCapture” suite which enables multi-channel merchants to capture lost sales and gives merchants access to a suite of other technology solutions such as promotional financing, private label and integrated marketing programs. More than 250 clients use the “PayCapture” suite. US Airways also recently added the the “Bill Me Later” service. (CF Library 8/2/06)

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Kum & Go Expands TransFund Totally Free ATMs

The IA-based c-store chain, Kum & Go, has expanded its fee-free ATM deal with TransFund to 102 ATMs in its locations in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. The TransFund Totally Free ATMTM program eliminates some of the financial burden bestowed upon ATM users, providing no-fee transactions. Kum & Go, one of the nation’s leading convenience store chains. TransFund (affiliated division of BOK Financial Corporation, Nasdaq:BOKF) is an ATM network of banks, credit unions and retailers, located in 13 states.

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New Unlawful Gambling Act Impacts ECHO

Another processor will be significantly impacted by the recently passed “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.” Electronic Clearing House says the law, which is expected to be signed tomorrow, will impact its “Internet wallet” merchants. The service enables consumers to use funds in those “Internet wallets” to participate in gaming activities over the Internet. Regardless of the actions taken by ECHO’s “Internet wallet” merchants, ECHO has decided to phase out any services related to check processing activities for Internet gaming before the 270-day regulatory determination period expires. The portion of “Internet wallet” services accounts for less than 10% of ECHO’s total revenues. Accordingly, the loss of revenues, and net income, arising from these services will have a significant negative effect on the Company’s business and results of operations in fiscal 2007.

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ISO to Distribute 20K Optimum T4100s

CO-based Total Merchant Services has agreed to purchase 20,000 Hypercom “Optimum T4100” multi-application card payment terminals for its free terminal program. In conjunction with the multi-million dollar deal, Total Merchant Services has also selected Hypercom as its preferred supplier of card payment terminals. Total Merchant Services is a ten-year-old, Colorado based merchant acquirer that offers the best free terminal programs in the industry together with innovative and cost-effective solutions to merchants who accept credit cards for the payment of their goods and services. Global payment technology leader Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) delivers a full suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services.

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PCI 3Q/06

The country’s largest privately owned processor is set to hit 10,000 ATMs by the end of this year. Toronto-based TNS Smart Network has grown, on average, by 1,000 ATMs per year since 1997. At the end of October the Company had 9,000 ATMs deployed, compared to about 7,500 two years ago. Currently, TNS represents close to 20% of the Canadian ATM marketplace and maintains a volume of ATMs equivalent to 50% of all the ATMs deployed by Financial Institutions in Canada combined. TNS says most of its growth has come from partnering with “white label” ATM companies.

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TNS Smart Network to Hit 10K ATMs

Canada’s largest privately owned processor is set to hit 10,000 ATMs by the end of this year. Toronto-based TNS Smart Network has grown, on average, by 1,000 ATMs per year since 1997. At the end of October the Company had 9,000 ATMs deployed, compared to about 7,500 two years ago. Currently, TNS represents close to 20% of the Canadian ATM marketplace and maintains a volume of ATMs equivalent to 50% of all the ATMs deployed by Financial Institutions in Canada combined. TNS says most of its growth has come from partnering with “white label” ATM companies.

TNS ATM HISTORICAL
2000: 3,000
2001: 3,700
2002: 4,800
2003: 6,000
2004: 7,500
2005: 8,800
2006: 10,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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TransFirst ePayment Services Names a President

Dallas-based TransFirst has promoted Michael Phelan to president of the company’s ePayment Services division. Prior to joining TransFirst, Phelan served as vice president of business development for the Wealth Management Group at First National Bank in Omaha, Neb., where he was responsible for sales, marketing and product development, Investment One Brokerage, corporate bank marketing, training and strategic initiatives. TransFirst offers a first-rate suite of products and services and customized processing programs uniquely tailored for the special business needs of financial institutions, independent sales organizations and agents and its referral and reseller partners.

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Store & Gas Cards to Post a 4.4% CAGR

A new report has taken a contrarian view of the private-label credit card market. The analysis predicts that the store and gas credit card market will expand from $106 billion last year in outstandings to $131 billion by 2010. NY-based Packaged Facts says the private label credit card market will grow at a compound annual rate of 4.4% over the next four years. The research firm says the growth will be driven by the appeal of rewards, 0% financing, 10% off initial purchase, and similar tried-and-true marketing efforts. Packaged Facts also says newer technologies which better communicate with and for consumers will drive the growth. Citi Commerce Solutions, GE Money, and HSBC dominate with a combined 81% market share. Other analysts suggest wallet clutter and fierce competition will dampen private-label credit card growth.

PRIVATE LABEL CARDS
2005: $106 billion
2006: $111 billion
2007: $116 billion
2008: $121 billion
2009: $126 billion
2010: $131 billion
Source: Packaged Facts

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Global Payments Signs PAI for Processing

Atlanta-based Global Payments has signed a deal with Payment Alliance International to provide PAI with end-to-end processing services including authorization, capture, settlement, and BIN sponsorship. Under the terms of the agreement, Global Payments will provide PAI with end-to-end processing services including authorization, capture, settlement, and BIN sponsorship. Payment Alliance International, PAI, is an emerging leader in the Payments sector offering credit card and check processing, as well as other services like ATM and analysis products. Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies, multi- national corporations and gaming establishments located throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific Region.

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